Sketches — Iteration // Mister Mellow // Thickfreakness

You’re judging him for making a Com Truise album?

What did you expect?

Of course he made a Com Truise album.

He’s Com Truise.

The rules on the ground are simple, she says, facing you, zipping up as she makes her way around the back of her Aztec. If he’s wrong… she opens her door and steps in.

Slam.

…then fine, you win. But if he’s right, then what does that make you?

Ignition on.

It makes you wrong. But does it make you happy or does it make you sad?

If it makes you sad, you’re saying he’d rather be wrong. And as you yourself noted, his being wrong is a big deal. It’s a matter of life and death for us all, right?

If he’s wrong, we’re all done-fur, according to you. So shouldn’t you be praying he’s right and he wins?

If you don’t, don’t you then, by extension hate this country?

Just think about it.

She steps on the accelerator. There’s no-one else in sight. She’s lucky to have picked a good spot to stop.

You won’t always be so lucky, homes.

The marauders here are twomb-slacked. If my memory serves me right, I’ve seen them gruggle myself. With my own two eyes, I’ve seen them —

Shut up, Grully.

Sorry Ms. Peacock.

You’ll need to pardon him. He forgets I can hear him every time he pictures me naked. All he has to do is never picture me naked, and he’ll go back to just being your ‘humble’ narrator. You’d think he would keep that in mind. But no.

Don’t listen to her. Let’s get back to what (— I think he understands what —) think something about the marauders. I’ve seen them gruggle the spirit with my own two eyes. (— but I don’t think —) Hey. Don’t listen to her.

In the thirties, when they vacated the ground-world, only a person of a certain type would have had any interest in staying back in old Mumbai. All the old property-hoarders, squatters, protesters, these were the ones who stayed behind. This motley crew of the most-educated and least-educated. And somehow they manage to be almost half of the population.

What does that say about the ground-world, she asks.

Don’t listen to her.

It says the ground-world is a dangerous place. A place of scummy scamsters and supporters of scummy scamsters. Of course her mother doesn’t want to go. What mother would?

I can’t hear him anymore, thank goodness for that too. Here’s the thing you need to know. Grully has a penchant for exaggerating. I wouldn’t trust him and his story entirely, if I were you. Grully is right about one thing. There aren’t nearly as many ‘ground-dwellers’, I think called them, anywhere else on earth as there are in India. And Mumbai is where they dream. Can you just dismiss them all as no-good. Fifty percent of your own blood.

This is Washed Out.

Not Com Truise.

Oh sorry.

It’s ok.

Anyway, I’m Shruti, hi guys.

Arun.

Arjun.

Has Rahil told you all about me?

Yes, yes, of course.

(I don’t even know her name!! Laughtrack!!)

(She’s into me, I’m sure she’s into me.)

So as I was saying… Arjun.

Yeah Arun, sorry.

So the book I was telling you about? Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk.

Yeah, what about it?

My friend illustrated it, you should chat with him. He’ll be able to guide you through getting a book out.

Sure man, that would be great.

Rahul and Shruti tonight, huh?

Probably da. Like bunnies.

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